Robert Kubica says he has yet to make any progress in terms of preparing for his racing return in Formula 1, given the delays to the start of pre-season testing for Williams.
The FW42 was not ready in time for Williams to take part in either of the first two days of testing, with George Russell managing to complete 23 laps on Wednesday afternoon. Kubica then got in the car on Thursday morning and completed a total of 48 laps but says the work that needs doing at this stage means he can’t focus on preparing as a driver for the Australian Grand Prix.
“It’s not ideal,” Kubica said. “But I learned in life that nothing can be ideal, so we have what we have and I still think the team did a good job to bring the car and build it up in probably five times shorter time than it normally should be. So we have to have big respect — but on the other hand we have to understand what happened, because losing three days in the end…
“I also look at myself, as it should be. The driver is paid to be a driver, other people are paid to do different jobs, so definitely we cannot say I prepared something for Australia. I am in the same situation as I was one month ago or three months ago.
“This week was more about getting something done for the team — which was a big challenge to bring the car first — and it’s now more about preparing the car for next week.
“I have to try and prepare as much as I can with what I have. If you have no car it’s difficult to prepare, but on the other hand it’s still better to have it now … It wasn’t so smooth for me this morning so we will try to do our best and that has to be our target. For sure we are not facing an easy period because Australia is next door, but that’s the reality.”
Kubica says he had roughly 12 laps to get a first feeling for the car on Thursday, which he says is not enough to understand if it is a more stable starting point than last year’s chassis.
“Well, yeah, last year there were problems — different problems — this year we have one main problem: we didn’t have a car! That’s probably a bigger one, but once you get it, it was important to get through different tests and sign-off stuff and gather some data. So it wasn’t really a proper half day of driving, it was more about getting things sorted.”
Despite his experience, the Pole insists there is little he could do to help the team over the past few days, having been in Barcelona for nearly a week waiting to drive the car.
“You are expecting too much from the driver, I think! Everybody has their own role and own job to do, so I have to focus on my job and leave the people who are responsible and who are working for the team to do their job. This is the correct way.
“It’s the same everywhere, so we have to stick together, we have to work and everybody has to put maximum effort in to make the team work properly.”